Minsan lang kayo sumulat tungkol sa Agrikultura, basura pa!
The phrase above sums up the general sentiment of Manny Piñol in response to the article posted today on the Business page of the Philippine Daily Inquirer that got his nerve.
Piñol used the word “reprehensible” in describing the manner Ronnel Domingo of the Philippine Daily Inquirer slanted the phrase “personal friend” to make it appear that it was the reason why he was confident of being reappointed by President Rody Duterte as Agriculture Secretary.
“Emmanuel F. Piñol said he expected to be reappointed agriculture secretary after the Commission on Appointments (CA) bypassed him earlier this month, saying that his “personal friend” President Duterte told him so.”
This was the lead paragraph of a story “Piñol Crafts Masaganang Ani Project” which Piñol said is unrelated to the title of the news item.
Piñol lamented that details about the “Masaganang Ani Project” was found at the bottom of the article, treated in a “by the way” manner.
Piñol insisted that the transcripts of the press conference would bear him out that he used the phrase “personal friend” to refer to his relationship with President Duterte when he was talking about corruption in the Department of Agriculture.
The transcripts of the press conference yesterday will prove that I used the phrase “personal friend” to refer to my relationship with President Duterte when I was talking about corruption in the Department of Agriculture.
I stated during the press conference that I cannot be involved in corruption not only because it is against the law, but mainly because as a “personal friend” of the President, it would be an act of betrayal of his friendship.
“I have an added load on my shoulder in the campaign against corruption in the Department of Agriculture and that is my personal friendship with the President. I will betray him if I get involved in corruption,” was essentially what he said.
The hardworking DA Secretary said he personally asked other DA officials to lead a Spartan life to stress his point that he was talking about corruption vis-a-vis when he used the word “personal friend’ in the press conference.
In fact, I also related during the press conference that I have personally talked to the other DA officials who are working with me now that “we should live Spartan lives” and be contented with what we receive as salaries.
Piñol remarked that by misusing the phrase “personal friend” in the context of Duterte’s assurance the he would get reappointed as DA Secretary, Inquirer reporter Ronnel Domingo is either an incompetent reporter or a bias one at that.
By misusing the phrase “personal friend” in the context of the President’s assurance that he would reappoint me as Secretary of Agriculture, Inquirer reporter Ronnel Domingo showed his bias if not incompetence as a reporter.
Piñol said that incompetent writers like Domingo has no place in a respected paper like the Philippine Daily Inquirer.
A respected paper like the Philippine Daily Inquirer, which pays its reporters and writers well does not deserve an incompetent and lousy reporter.
Piñol said he understands that the Agriculture beat is not as exciting as the Police or Malacanang beat, hence the mainstream media do not send the best and brightest scribes there. But this should not be the case, Piñol insisted.
The Agriculture beat is not as exciting as the Police, Congress, Senate or Malacañang beats and I can understand the lack of focus and importance mainstream media provide.
But as a major agency of government, I believe the Agriculture Department deserves to be covered by a writer who understands agriculture and fisheries, not somebody who spreads gossips and intrigues.
“Minsan lang kayo sumulat tungkol sa Agrikultura, basura pa!” Pinol ended his post in an emphatic manner.
If you have something to say to the Inquirer reporter, please do so by commenting below.